Site ColumnsBy Michelle
March 2, 2007 - 11:22 PM
The glory days of YouTube for Star Trek fans are over. Viacom and CBS have ordered the removal of illegally used clips from their shows. This means not only that you can't watch George Takei's hilarious, uncut performance from the roast of William Shatner that aired on Comedy Central last year, but you can't upload your songvids or favorite clips of Spock saying "Fascinating" and McCoy saying "He's dead, Jim."
Of course, there are copyright concerns. But I keep wondering how much of this has to do with CBS's plans to build a virtual Star Trek environment in Second Life and keep all "mash-ups" - as fan repackaging of material is called in the industry - under their own control. Les Moonves said that CBS would embrace technology that would allow viewers to take clips and re-edit them "and we're going to get paid for the clips." He even said the studio might be tapping into fan-generated material for future Star Trek productions.
Once upon a time, George Lucas agreed to let fans use the characters from Star Wars in fan fiction so long as they obeyed his restrictions on NC-17 rated content and a few other things. Some fans were outraged and stayed away from Star Wars fandom; others did what fans have always done, and went underground, producing adult zines to their heart's content where George Lucas couldn't see them. Does Les Moonves really think he can lock up fandom as a commercial venture for CBS by denying fans the clips and songvids on YouTube? Or is he simply expecting to maximize profit by grabbing out where he can?
Songvids may move under the tables at conventions where the adult zines once hid (when I was at Farpoint they were out on display with Kirk and Spock kissing on the covers). But I can guarantee Les Moonves that the vidders are never going to fall neatly into line with CBS's commercial plans.
Trek BBS Today
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Trek Two Years Ago
These were some of the major news items from February-March 2005:
- UPN Cancels 'Star Trek: Enterprise'
UPN and Paramount today jointly announced the cancellation of 'Star Trek: Enterprise' following the airing of the as-yet-untitled series finale in May 2005. UPN Entertainment president Dawn Ostroff said, "We'd like to thank Rick Berman, Brannon Braga and an incredibly talented cast for creating an engaging, new dimension to the Star Trek universe on UPN, and we look forward to working with them, and our partners at Paramount Network Television, on a send-off that salutes its contributions to The Network and satisfies its loyal viewers."
- Efforts To Save 'Enterprise' Draw Media Attention
Efforts to save 'Star Trek: Enterprise' included an Associated Press article and a fan campaign to raise the money to pay for a fifth season of the series independently of the studio. Fans planned a rally outside the Paramount lot in Los Angeles and took out ads in trade publications in an attempt to change the studio execs' minds.
- Braga Believes Too Much Star Trek Killed 'Enterprise'
"After 18 straight years on the air and 750-some episodes, the current run of Star Trek is over. Which is a good thing. It needs a rest," executive producer Braga told an audience at Claremont McKenna College, saying that the series would return "It could be a couple of years, it could be eight years...I don't see it as a cancellation, I see it as more of a gestation."
More news can be found in the archives.
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Today is the birthday of Barbara Luna, who played Marlena Moreau on the original Star Trek; tomorrow is the birthday of James Doohan, who played Scotty on the original series; Monday, March 5th is the birthday of Jolene Blalock, who played T'Pol on Enterprise; and Wednesday, March 7th is the birthday of Donna Murphy, who played Anij in Star Trek: Insurrection.